Mike Lee Becomes Fifth GOP Senator to Oppose Trump National Emergency

In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks on the Senate Floor at the Utah state Capitol in Salt Lake City. President Donald Trump's list of candidates for the Supreme Court, posted on White House website in November 2017 includes Lee. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) announced Wednesday he will become the fifth Republican senator to back a resolution to nullify President Donald Trump’s national emergency.

Sen. Lee announced Wednesday that, in the wake of the White House not supporting his legislation to limit the president’s authority to declare a national emergency, he will vote for a resolution that will terminate President Trump’s national emergency on the southern border.

The Utah senator said in a statement on Wednesday:

Congress is supposed to be the first among the federal government’s three co-equal branches. For decades, Congress has been giving far too much legislative power to the executive branch. While there was attention on the issue I had hoped the ARTICLE ONE Act could begin to take that power back. Unfortunately, it appears the bill does not have an immediate path forward, so I will be voting to terminate the latest emergency declaration. I hope this legislation will serve as a starting point for future work on this very important issue.

On Tuesday, Lee sponsored the Article ONE Act, which would limit the president’s authority to declare for only 30 days unless Congress voted to extend the emergency. Fourteen Republican senators backed the bill on Tuesday, which includes Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Jim Moran (R-KS), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Todd Young (R-IN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
However, after the White House announced that they will back the Article ONE Act, Lee joined four other Republican senators to vote in favor of ending the national emergency. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Susan Collins (R-ME) have signaled that they will vote to end the national emergency to build a wall along the southern border.
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram said that sources told him that as many as 15 Republican senators could join all 47 Senate Democrats to end the national emergency declaration, which puts the Senate close to enough votes to override a presidential veto.

Lee’s announcement comes as a Morning Consult/Politico report comes out which suggests that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters would more likely vote for a candidate if they backed Trump’s national emergency on the border.

In an interview with Breitbart News this week, President Trump said he found it “hard to believe” that any Republican would vote against his efforts to secure the border.
Rep. Mo Brooks said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News that any constitutional concern over Trump’s emergency declaration amounts to “pure, unadulterated B.S.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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